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Vast potential for cotton industry in Zambia: Minister
02
Apr '14
There is a vast potential for the development of the cotton industry in Zambia, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Greyford Monde has said.
 
During a farmers’ field day at the Cotton Development Trust, Mr. Monde said there is vast potential for cotton production and processing in Zambia, however, there is a need to promote better and cost-effective technologies for cotton production.
 
The farmers’ field day under the theme ‘Technologies for improved crop production and productivity in a changing environment’ was held in Magoye, near Mazabuka town in the Southern Province last weekend.
 
Mr. Monde said agriculture has untapped potential in Zambia and can give dividends in terms of import substitution and employment creation, especially in cotton production and processing.
 
He said despite the growth in cotton production over the past decades there has been a decrease in farmers’ interest in growing cotton, and pointed out that poor production technology was a major factor for low cotton yields.
 
He stressed on the need for strengthening farmer support programmes and improving techniques of cotton growers, while providing improved, good quality and affordable inputs, including seeds and pesticides.
 
According to Mr. Monde, increased cotton yields would definitely contribute to poverty alleviation and economic development.
 
He said he would like to see improved relationships between cotton growers and ginning companies, wherein both benefits and risks are equitably shared.
 
In Zambia, four provinces—Eastern, Central, Southern and Lusaka—account for majority of the cotton grown in the country. These provinces harvest an average of 500 kg of cotton per hectare. Last year, the country harvested 100,000 tons of cotton, but the production is expected to increase to 168,000 tons this year.
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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